Nymphomaniac Gifts: Felicity Cloke’s Recipes for Tomato Sauce and Brown Sauce | Christmas food and drink

tIt’s the perfect gift for the classic spice lover in your life: The richer, more complex flavor of these homemade versions of two much-loved sauces will bring joy to the breakfast table in the New Year. Choose your favorite, or encourage them to broaden their culinary horizons by giving them one of each. You never know, it might change their lives.

Homemade tomato ketchup

to equip 15 minutes
cook 1 hour
Make 2 jars/ bottles
Memorizes 3 months

2 kg Tomatoes
Banana shallots
4 garlic clove
8 tbsp Fine dark brown sugar
8 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
2-4 dried spices

1 roasted tomatoes with ketchup

To prepare the ketchup, preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C) /350F/ Gas 4. Arrange the tomatoes on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, until very soft and beginning to fall apart. (I love using plum tomatoes, but ketchup is a great use for any slightly disappointing winter tomatoes.)

2 Sift the tomatoes

Push the roasted tomatoes through a sieve into a large saucepan, scraping the underside of the sieve regularly to speed things up and working hard to ensure you get as much flesh as possible—by the time you’re done, you should be done. You are left with only a papery crust in the strainer, which you can now scrape and discard.

3 Add the allium, pepper, sugar and vinegar

Peel the shallots and garlic, and crush both lightly by crushing them with a large knife. Add them to the skillet of tomatoes along with the sugar, vinegar, and cayenne pepper – I use four, but if you’re less keen on heat, or use very intense varieties, you may want to cut the amount in half.

4 Cook until thickened, then season and place in the jar

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, for 20-25 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, then pour in, discard the solids, and stir in the salt and any other spices you like (ground allspice or cumin and coriander, for example, or garam masala) to taste. Store in sterilized jars, preferably in the refrigerator, where it should be kept for up to three months.

Homemade brown sauce

to equip 20 minutes
cook 1 hour 30 minutes
Make 2 jars/ bottles
Memorizes 3 months

500 gr Tomatoes
¼ tsp Good salt
1 cook An apple
1 small red onions
1 garlic cloves
5 cm piece of fresh ginger
75g Stoned dates
400 ml Apple juice
50 ml Tamarind paste
100 ml Apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp the black Honey
2 cloves
½ tsp Black mustard seeds
¼ tsp ground spices
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 Soak the tomatoes in the brown sauce

Cut the tomatoes into small pieces and put them together with the seeds and juices, all in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, stir and let it steep for about an hour (a little longer won’t hurt), then drain and discard the salty liquid that the tomatoes are oozing out.

2 Add the flavors

Meanwhile, peel and core apples, and peel red onion, garlic, and ginger. Coarsely chop the apple, onion, ginger and dates, and chop the garlic finely. Put all these things in a large skillet with tomatoes, apple juice, tamarind, vinegar, black herb, and 100 ml Water. (Note: The strength of tamarind pastes varies, so I gave a moderate amount here, which you can adjust later.)

3 Cook it until it becomes pulpy

Bring to a boil, allow to simmer briskly for five minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until contents are tender and soft and just beginning to crumble and blend together. Towards the end, stir occasionally to stop the mixture from burning and burning.

4 Add the spices

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then blend with a stick blender (or use the jug of a blender) to reduce it to a puree, being careful as it will still be very hot. Crush the cloves and mustard seeds into a powder, then stir them into the sauce with ground allspice and cinnamon.

5 Reduce its intensity, then drag it

Bring the pot to a boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for another type 30 or minutes, until thick. Remember that the sauce will thicken as it cools. Season with salt or more tamarind or any of the spices, as you see fit, then pour into sterilized jars and store, preferably in the refrigerator, where it should keep for up to three months.

  • Felicity Cloke is the author of Red Sauce, Brown Sauce: A British Breakfast Odyssey, published by Mudlark £16.99. To order a copy for £14.78, visit guardianbookshop.com

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